Obtaining geophysical data in GOAT format

The latest GOAT version contains some initial data. Additional LINK archive data can be downloaded from the Download page or by using GOAT’s auto-download utility. GOAT’s auto-download utility (GOAT_AutoDownload.m, also called by the DataDownload shortcut) automatically installs the datasets listed bellow, by downloading directly from free data servers, and converting the downloaded data to GOAT MAT standard (see GOAT_GUIDE for a description of GOAT archiving standards and the GOAT Auto Download Protocol). Changes related to data servers may result in failure to download, misplaced or erroneous data. Please verify the downloaded data and report when errors are encountered.

Additional dataset details, errata and referencing information can be found at NCAR/UCAR’s Climate Data Guide.

Dataset Name Description
NCEP-I The original reanalysis by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Earth Science Research Laboratory (NOAA-ESRL).
• Kalnay et al.,The NCEP/NCAR 40-year reanalysis project, Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 77, 437-470, 1996
• NCEP-DEO AMIP-II Reanalysis (R-2): M. Kanamitsu, W. Ebisuzaki, J. Woollen, S-K Yang, J.J. Hnilo, M. Fiorino, and G. L. Potter. 1631-1643, Nov 2002, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
20th Cent. Reanalysis  by NOAA-ESRL.
• Compo, G.P., J.S. Whitaker, P.D. Sardeshmukh, N. Matsui, R.J. Allan, X. Yin, B.E. Gleason, R.S. Vose, G. Rutledge, P. Bessemoulin, S. Brönnimann, M. Brunet, R.I. Crouthamel, A.N. Grant, P.Y. Groisman, P.D. Jones, M. Kruk, A.C. Kruger, G.J. Marshall, M. Maugeri, H.Y. Mok, Ø. Nordli, T.F. Ross, R.M. Trigo, X.L. Wang, S.D. Woodruff, and S.J. Worley, 2011: The Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project. Quarterly J. Roy. Meteorol. Soc., 137, 1-28. DOI: 10.1002/qj.776 Free and Open Access.
• Compo,G.P., J.S. Whitaker, and P.D. Sardeshmukh, 2006: Feasibility of a 100 year reanalysis using only surface pressure data. Bull. Amer. Met. Soc., 87, 175-190.
• Whitaker, J.S., G.P.Compo, X. Wei, and T.M. Hamill 2004: Reanalysis without radiosondes using ensemble data assimilation. Mon. Wea. Rev., 132, 1190-1200.
GODAS  Global Ocean Data Assimilation System by NOAA-ESRL.
• Behringer, D.W., M. Ji, and A. Leetmaa, 1998: An improved coupled model for ENSO prediction and implications for ocean initialization. Part I: The ocean data assimilation system. Mon. Wea. Rev., 126, 1013-1021.
• Behringer, D.W., and Y. Xue, 2004: Evaluation of the global ocean data assimilation system at NCEP: The Pacific Ocean. Eighth Symposium on Integrated Observing and Assimilation Systems for Atmosphere, Oceans, and Land Surface, AMS 84th Annual Meeting, Washington State Convention and Trade Center, Seattle, Washington, 11-15. Derber, J.C., and A. Rosati, 1989: A global oceanic data assimilation system. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 19, 1333-1347.
• Ji, M., A. Leetmaa, and J. Derber, 1995: An ocean analysis system for seasonal to interannual climate studies. Mon. Wea. Rev., 123, 460-481. S. Saha, S. Nadiga, C. Thiaw, J. Wang, W. Wang, Q. Zhang, H. M. van den Dool, H.-L. Pan, S. Moorthi, D. Behringer, D. Stokes, M. Pe–a, S. Lord, G. White, W. Ebisuzaki, P. Peng, P. Xie , 2006 : The NCEP Climate Forecast System. Accepted J. Climate.
ERSST Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature NOAA Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperatutures v3b.
• ERSST.v3 Smith, T.M., R.W. Reynolds, Thomas C. Peterson, and Jay Lawrimore 2007: Improvements to NOAA's Historical Merged Land-Ocean Surface Temperature Analysis (1880-2006). In press. Journal of Climate. Xue, Y., T. M. Smith, and R. W. Reynolds, 2003: Interdecadal changes of 30-yr SST normals during 1871-2000. J. Climate, 16, 1601-1612.
TRMM Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (V7). by NASA.
Huffman et al, 2007: The TRMM Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA): Quasi-Global, Multiyear, Combined-Sensor Precipitation Estimates at Fine Scales. iyear, combined- sensor precipitation estimates at fine scales. J. Hydrometeor., 8, 38–55.
Ebert, E. E., J. E. Janowiak, and C. Kidd, 2007: Comparison of near-real-time precipitation estimates from satellite observa- tions and numerical models. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 88, 47–64.
Basic information on 3B43, TRMM and Other Data Precipitation Products
Liu, Z. et al (2012): Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM): Precipitation Data and Services for Research and Applications. BAMS: 1317
• Huffman et al, 2010: The TRMM Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA). Chapter 1 in Satellite Rainfall Applications for Surface Hydrology, F. Hossain and M. Gebremichael, Eds. Springer Verlag, ISBN: 978-90-481-2914-0, 3-22
Prakash et al (2013): Comparison of TRMM Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA)-3B43 version 6 and 7 products with rain gauge data from ocean buoys, Remote Sensing Letters, 4, 677-685
Rasmussen, K. L., S. L. Choi, M. D. Zuluaga, and R. A. Houze Jr. (2013), TRMM precipitation bias in extreme storms in South America, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 3457–3461, doi:10.1002/grl.50651.
MERRA Modern Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications. by NASA.
• Rienecker, M.M., M.J. Suarez, R. Gelaro, R. Todling, J. Bacmeister, E. Liu, M.G. Bosilovich, S.D. Schubert, L. Takacs, G.-K. Kim, S. Bloom, J. Chen, D. Collins, A. Conaty, A. da Silva, et al. (2011), MERRA: NASA's Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and ApplicationsJ. Climate24, 3624-3648, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00015.1. Link.
ORAS4 Ocean Reanalysis System, by ECMWF.
Balmaseda, M. A., Mogensen, K. and Weaver, A. T. (2013), Evaluation of the ECMWF ocean reanalysis system ORAS4. Q.J.R. Meteorol. Soc., 139: 1132–1161. doi: 10.1002/qj.2063
Balmaseda, M. A., K. E. Trenberth, and E. Källén (2013), Distinctive climate signals in reanalysis of global ocean heat content, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 1754–1759, doi:10.1002/grl.50382.
Balmaseda, M.A. et al (2008): The ECMWF Ocean Analysis System: ORA-S3
WOA 2013 World Ocean Atlas (2013). By NOAA-National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC). Objectively analysed climatological oceanic fields.
GISTEMP by NASA-Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
• Hansen, J., R. Ruedy, M. Sato, and K. Lo, 2010: Global surface temperature change. Rev. Geophys., 48, RG4004, doi:10.1029/2010RG000345
CLOUDSAT and CLIPSO Combined CLOUDSAT spaceborne radar and CLIPSO spaceborne lidar cloud fraction dataset. More information the the Climate-Data-Guide and here.
Kay and Gettelman 2009: Cloud influence on and response to seasonal Arctic sea ice loss



LINK Datasets

In addition to *.mat files archived according to the GOAT MAT archiving format, GOAT can be ‘linked’ to the following data sources:

  1. OPeNDAP sources
  2. NetCDF files
  3. Downloadable NetCDF (accessible via http or ftp)

GOAT archives that include any of the above sources are referred to as LINK archives. LINK archives follow the GOAT Auto Link Protocol (ALP) described in the GOAT_GUIDE.


The GOAT function GOAT_CMIP5_LINK links CMIP5 NetCDF files to GOAT. For a given main directory this function performs the following:

  • Automatically finds all CMIP5 NetCDF files
  • Automatically identifies variable, realm, experiment (including reanalyses), frequency, calendar (e.g., Gregorian, non-leapyear or irregular calendars such as 360 days a year), ensemble and temporal span of each file
  • creates GOAT LINK archive

The LINK archive allows users to browse through the linked data using the GOAT GUI, visualize data, perform and export analysis with the same ease as data installed in *.mat format.

The automated linking capability can be further extended to observational datasets, as a growing number of observational datasets are made available at the CMIP5 archiving standard via the Obs4Mips and ana4MIPs projects.

LINKed CMIP5 archives can also be created for data stored on servers accessible via ssh, by mounting these servers using an ssh file-system utility (e.g., Mac: FUSE for OSX, Windows: Dokan for windows, Linux: FUSE and SSHFS).

The GOAT_CMIP5_LINK function is part of the GOAT CMIP5 toolbox which includes additional functions such as

  • Auto parsing of CMIP5 file names into variable, experiment, realm, frequency, model, ensemble and temporal span
  • Auto survey of CMIP5 files attributes (variable, model, etc.) in a given folder
  • Variable filter for wget fies

OPeNDAP LINK archives

OPeNDAP (Open-source Project for a Network Data Access Protocol) is a popular data transport protocol, allowing users to inquire about and retrieve subsets of files

Using the GOAT Auto Link Protocol (ALP), data available via OPeNDAP sources can be browsed, visualized and analyzed with same ease as *.mat installed data.

Listed below are several downloadable LINK archives. Additional LINK archives (or requests for LINK archives) can be submitted here.

20CR  ESRL-PSD 20th Century Reanalysis (V2) (Pressure/Monolevel/Subsurface)
ERA-40  By ECMWF. A partial dataset via the OPeNDAP server at Asia Pacific Data Research Center (IPRC).
MERRA  Entire (~80TB) MERRA dataset (excluding Diurnal datasets) via its three OPeNDAP portals:
1. http://goldsmr1.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/dods/   (1.25° x 1.0° x 72 surface and 3D fields for chemical transport modelling)
2. http://goldsmr2.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/dods/   (0.667° x 0.5° surface prognostic and diagnostic fields)
3. http://goldsmr3.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/dods/   (1.25° x 1.25° x 42 analysis and assimilation fields)
NCEP-I  CDAS NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis via NOAA's non-operational NOMADS 3 server. The archive includes links to Rotating datasets (continuously updated most recent reanalysis output)
NCEP-II   NCEP-DOE Reanalysis via NOAA's non-operational NOMADS 3 server. The archive includes links to Rotating datasets (continuously updated most recent reanalysis output)
ERA-Interim   ECMWF ERA-Interim Reanalysis via ECMWF MARS  server. The archive includes 0.75X0.75 and 1.5X1.5 degree resolutions. Monthly synoptic means are not included.
1. ECMWF API key. Follow instructions here.
2. Updated JSON package. An updated JSON package version can be downloaded from CPAN.
ORA-S4 By ECMWF. OPeNDAP server at Asia Pacific Data Research Center (IPRC).
TRMM  OPeNDAP and downloaded NetCDF file LINK archive of the TRMM datasets:
a. 3B31 (version 7)
b. 3B42 (version 7)
ERSST (V3b) NOAA Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperatutures v3b.